Net-Based Install

Turns out that the problem probably wasn’t that the cylinder boundary was too high. Well, it may have been, but once I got everything moved around I found that the FreeBSD fdisk wanted me to delete the BFS slice and re-create it as a FreeBSD slice. Previously, I had only tried to change the filesystem type from the main fdisk menu. The errors it gave were misleading and led me down a garden path. So much for usability. That’s the flipside — I always complain that no one has ever made things as easy or as logical as Be has. And when I spend half a day trying to get sound working on a Linux machine, I gripe and grumble. But I have to confess that my inner tweaker actually derives some kind of perverse pleasure from twiddling all the knobs. That’s Be’s secret Achilles heel – it’s too damned easy to install and configure. You get the satisfaction of using a coherent system, but not the satisfaction of banging your head against the wall for an hour and then solving something. Banging your head against the wall makes you grow as a person. I think that’s why Linux is so popular. Because it’s so hard.

Anyway, everything is humming along now. Downloading and installing FreeBSD at the same time. Gotta hand it to ’em. Net-based installs make sense. Everything should be that way. Start with a floppy, get it going, go eat dinner, watch some of the made-for-TV-movie about the legendary tenniss battle between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King, and you come back to a fresh-baked operating system. Pretty cool. Only it’s going kind of slow – 9.4KB/sec – 1/4 of my bandwidth. I think they meter it intentionally.

Partition Madness

It’s nice to have a small break. Back from Mom’s place, doing a lot by phone now. The pace at work has slowed down dramatically – actually working sane hours, getting home while it’s still light out. Just turned in my last Byte column. Taking care of odds and ends that have gone ignored for months.

Trying to install FreeBSD in the background, but running into partition problems. It’s partitioning utility won’t let me install to the fourth partition on secondary master… cylinder too high. I’ve got so many disks and partitions, it gets confusing. Now using a little known feature of Be’s brilliant Installer app to copy the entirety of the BeOS boot drive on the first partition to where I was going to put BSD. Will then reinitialize the first partition on that drive and try again. It amazes me… read these articles about how “impressive” the BSD installer is, but it’s so arcane. No better than the Linux installers I’ve seen. Is Be the only company every to have gotten OS installation right? But what’s the point? The world never cared.

Must eat something. Maybe there’s a box of rice pilaf I can make. Amy is teaching tonight and I fend for myself. Bachelor chow.

Jackson Pollock Was an Alcoholic

Went to see Pollock with Amy, Mike, Gina, Andrew on Solano Ave. Ed Harris did an amazing job as Pollock — his painting was totally convincing. But what a tortured life, what a severe drink head. I hadn’t realized his whole life was so dependent on the strength and will of Lee Krasner. The film did a good job of not letting us love him too much (he wasn’t particularly likeable), and it didn’t pander to an audience with little background in art, either. He was a genius. And he was an asshole. Felt good to think about something other than launching personalStudio for a while.

In Absentia

Went to see the new Brothers Quay film In Absentia with Amy and Amy after work, preceded by five other Quay shorts. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched any of their stuff. This was a big departure from their earlier works. More live action, less puppeteering. About a woman in a room writing over and over again in these tiny, cramped, heavy loops, nothingness onto a page over and over again, breaking pencil leads with her heavy hand and placing the stubs on the windowsill. Eerie soundtrack by Stockhausen which I loved but the Amys hated. Took a while to shift gears. Brain still in work mode through most of the first shorts, then I slowed down and got into it more. Felt really good to get out of the office and into the theater, especially to see something more abstract.

Broccoli of the Subgenius

Picked up a used copy of the Book of the Subgenius at a garage sale to replace my decades old, dog-eared copy. Tried to watch Conceiving Ada, but it was so badly acted and so corny we had to quit after 20 minutes. I’d love to learn the story of Ada Lovelace, but those filmmakers should be ashamed. Ended up watching some of Short 6 instead.

arenacross

Took off early from work (well, 6) and went to the Oakland Arena with Mike to check out the arena cross — sort of the “superbowl of motorcross.” What they do is take a basketball court and fill it with dirt, then make this ridiculously torturous, windy whoop-de-doo track and pack it down. Kids and 20-somethings from all over the state race 125 and 250cc motocross bikes around, spending a full 1/3 of their time in the air. The jumps are absolutely insane. A 30 foot take-off run in 1st or 2nd gear off a 12-foot jump, and they sail in these perfect arcs halfway down the court, land and brake suddenly, hairpin turn, then two or three medium size jumps on the way back, a run of small whoop-dees, and back into the main jump. Over and over again.

I don’t know what they burn in those things, but the smell of dozens of two-stroke engines buzzing with this whiny noise and pooting out this acrid chemical smell. It smelled so bad and so brain damaging I can’t even believe they did it indoors. Afterwards we could taste the chemicals in our mouths it was so foul.

There was also a class of 65cc bikes ridden by 7 to 11 year olds. Cute, but not nearly as daring. They just roll over the jumps. Would have been more exciting if one of those kids were mine. In fact it seemed like half the audience was composed of friends and family of the racers.

I was hoping for a real white trash experience, but it was kind of ho hum. Graceful to watch, but it got boring pretty quickly, and there just wasn’t enough space to make for a good race. Whoever hit the first turn first always won. Wish they had trotted out more spectacle — big boobie babes, show-off stunts, etc. Think we’ll have to go to a monster truck rally for that.

$8 for parking
$6 for a beer
$4.50 for what they straight facedly call “nachos”
$27 for the ticket with all those absurd ticketmaster “service” charges (what f*cking service?)

Kinda fun, kinda gross.

a new human being

After work went to see Stacia and Matthew and their new baby girl, Lila Simone (such a beautiful name). Lila was not all veiny and lumpy like most newborns, but smooth and perfect looking (but still very red). Stacia was in bed and still having contractions two days later. They had the birth in a large birthing tub, underwater. The tub was still in the back room, and a plaster cast of Stacia’s belly was on the window sill. She told us the story, every detail, and the whole thing was entirely cosmic – they really approached it that way, start to finish. They’re going to be great parents. They have it together.

I held Lila for a while, her tiny head like a grapefruit in my hand, and I sniffed her. She smelt like perfection.

There’s a time when a human is innocent – as a young child. But there is a time even before that, infancy, which is beyond innocent. Prior to innocence. Just pure, open, emptiness. Like a template for a soul.

It was so inspiring, I wish Amy could have been there. But Amy is in Seattle with her sister, who gave birth to her own newborn just days before.

buddhas take hits from rocket launchers

I am disgusted and amazed at the Taliban and their intentions to destroy some 2,000 year old statues of The Buddha, 174 feet high and carved into the side of a sandstone cliff in Afghanistan.


The Taliban claim that the statues encourage idolatry and are un-Islamic. So they’re going to rewrite history. They’ve already started blasting at them with rocket launchers, and have chipped away at the heads and feet. It’s like blowing up the Parthenon or the Sphinxes. Human idiocy and arrogance know no bounds. The whole world is against this, but of course they’re not listening, not letting anyone into the site. It’s on their turf, they can do what they want. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve heard in a long time.


Of course, it’s not like they can kill off the buddha spirit. They’ll only make themselves look miserable and pathetic. The whole thing isn’t much different from the Chinese occupation / destruction of Tibet. The world hasn’t done anything to stop that either. Mostly because no oil is involved.

Steamer

The pressure is intense. The politics make it much worse than it needs to be. Feel like I’m being pulled in two dozen directions at once. And I’ve only got four limbs with which to be pulled. From.